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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is developing a process for the anaerobic digestion of solid waste and sewage sludge into methane. Known as RefCOM -- Refuse Conversion to Methane -- the DOE experimental facility in Florida can process 100 tons of raw refuse per day with an output as high as 700,000 cubic feet of gas (CH4 and C02) per day. Based on an average home gas consumption of one million cubic feet per year, a 1,000 tons-per-day plant has the potential to meet the gas needs of over 7,000 homes. The objectives of the RefCOM experiment are to: Â¿establish information on the quality and quan- tity of gas produced; Â¿ascertain optimum operating parameters for both mesophilic and thermophilic modes; and Â¿evaluate the reliability of the techniques.
Date of Publication: Nov. 1980